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It is believed in many quarters that a couple can’t stay together for so long without having arguments, disagreements or fighting. This is based on the belief that the average couple is prone to forget small gestures that keep a relationship afloat, invariably leading to finding themselves in a sinking ship. It is normal in healthy relationships to fight, but do you just fight or you fight with a purpose?
Inevitably, all couples fight – ranging from the need for attention to simply nothing at all. But do you know that fighting can actually help keep both partners healthy and sane – and even further strengthen the relationship? A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that couples in satisfying relationships who sometimes have negative communication are more likely to have bigger conflicts, but this usually is followed by bigger resolutions by both partners. The secret is not actually in frequent fighting, it is in the couple learning to fight with a purpose.
While fighting can be frustrating, it can also strengthen a relationship if resolved in a healthy manner if you are fighting with a purpose. These fights can help set boundaries around these differences and let partners establish their own fighting style to effectively approach these conflicts. A partner’s level of relationship satisfaction tends to be a strong predictor of how couples come to resolve their problems.
If your relationship is on the rocks, science will help break your fall with these proven ways to improve your partnership — immediately.
Talk With Each Other Face-To-Face
Couples who talk more together, stay together — most of the time. Cell phones and other electronic devices have played an influential role in the course of relationships in the digital age, but they do not correlate with relationship satisfaction. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found women are generally happier the more they communicate with their partner face-to-face. Calling, texting, and Skyping were not associated with greater relationship satisfaction.
If you have something important to say to your partner, say it face-to-face, especially when it comes to confrontational topics. Communication and the method in which you communicate do affect relationship quality. Make time for face-to-face conversations to keep both you and your partner happy.
Don’t Text About Serious Relationship Issues
Texting is a fast and easy way to communicate with your partner when you’re apart. However, you should not fight about relationship problems via text. Couples who text one another to hurt each other or discuss confrontational topics are generally not happy, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Family Relations. For example, texting “I don’t have any money in my bank account” is not a text anyone would be happy to receive from their partner.
Break The Negative Cycle
Altercations in relationships usually follow a demand-withdraw cycle. This means one partner will most likely be critical and demanding about the problem, while the other tends to withdraw and shutdown due to the conflict. Douglas Tilley, a practicing emotion-focused therapist and director of the Maryland Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, wrote on his website: “85 percent of those partners who clam up and won’t talk during marital conflict are men. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to pursue issues even in the face of increasing conflict.”
A biological explanation may be the fact a man’s cardiovascular system is more responsive to stress, and therefore, they tend to block out any feeling if uneasiness. Whether you or your partner is the one who withdraws, it’s best to talk and let each other know how you feel. This will help break the negative cycle of fighting that only prolongs the argument.
Apologise And Accept Responsibility
Apologizing and apologizing while accepting responsibility for your actions are two different things. The number of times you apologize is not associated with relationship satisfaction. Rather, highly satisfied individuals are more forgiving following apologies because they regard their partners’ apologies as sincere expressions of regret, according to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
Remember, saying you’re sorry is better than not saying you’re sorry. Apologizing can help ease the hurt. Failure to do so will not lead to any resolutions.
Give Your Partner Space
It’s never a bad thing to want to spend time with your significant other, but every couple needs a little elbow room. A 2013 study published in the journal Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin found if a partner wants more closeness than what they get in a relationship they are more likely to be unhappy. This leads them to think about breaking up more, and they tend to feel depressed. It’s best to understand your partner and how much space you both require in a relationship to get along.
These science-backed tips will dramatically improve your relationship and increase the likelihood of a long lasting relationship.
Credits: Medical Daily